Like charges repel each other. The two charges repel each other in a horizontal vector. The weight of the balls acts vertically downwards. The tension force acts parallels to the direction of the suspending cord.
Free body diagram of ball 1
Two identical metal balls are suspended by insulating threads. Both balls have the same net charge. In this problem, do not assume the balls are point charges
a. Draw a separate free-body diagram for each ball. Label the forces to indicate:
b. Suppose the charge on the second ball is reduced slightly, so that it is less than that on the first ball.
Predict whether the angle as that ball 1 makes with the vertical will be greater than, less than or equal to the angle that ball 2 makes with the vertical. Explain. Sketch your answer above.
How does the free-body diagram for each ball in this case compare to the corresponding free body diagram that you drew in part a? If the magnitudes or directions of any of the forces change, describe how they change.
c. Predict what will happen if the net charge on ball 2 is reduced to zero. Make a sketch to illustrate your answer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?
Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Coulomb's Law (Electric Force) concept. You can view video lessons to learn Coulomb's Law (Electric Force). Or if you need more Coulomb's Law (Electric Force) practice, you can also practice Coulomb's Law (Electric Force) practice problems.
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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Smith's class at UCB.